Eco-friendly Ganeshas are getting a new meaning this year. A city-based sand art company, perhaps the only one of its kind, is creating unique sand installations of the God, to be displayed across the city during the festival. The idols are being created using three tones of sand and considering their size and the arduous task at hand, each of them takes a minimum of 8-10 hours to complete.
Sand Cult, which was started in 2009 by two young professionals, Jerry Jose and Raj Imran, has been creating custom works since 2009, when they participated in the inaugural Goa Sand Art Festival. “We’ve been associated with this event since the beginning. It is organised by Goa’s tourism board. Every year, we make sculptures on different social issues,” explains Jose, adding, “In the first year, we had global warming as our theme. We made a series of sculptures on the subject.
Then in 2010, we took on the subject of wildlife conservation. We created an entire theme park with sand. It contained lots of species of animals.” Although the two partners are not adept at the art themselves, they have a number of artists who have mastered the art over 7-10 years. Jose says, “We started the company because sand art is not really known to people here. They’ve only seen it on the Internet. It’s a form that needs a lot of patience to create something that is temporary. Also, it can’t be corrected easily.”
Sand Cult has also been responsible for a range of innovative event-specific sculptures. They’ve created many that are based on leaders and personalities – the latest one at Wilson College’s annual festival, dedicated to its founder, Dr John Wilson. Ask Jose to name his favourite and he smiles, “At a festival in Goa earlier this year, we visited a beautiful beach with white sand. The artists just saw it and felt like working with it. They created a beautiful sculpture of a nude woman lying on the beach.”